After suffering a loss to Liquid in the group stage, which stopped the Danish side's winning streak over Nick "nitr0" Cannella and co., Astralis settled the score in the semi-final of the FACEIT London Major, beating them 2-0.
Nuke started pretty wildly, three force buy wins right at the start, a lot of force buys won overall, a lot of clutches. Tell me about that chaotic start to Nuke and you in the end establishing a good T-side.
Yeah, I felt like we always had the upper hand in the rounds and we knew what they were doing, basically. We actually thought that because they let us pick Nuke, they would be prepared a lot on it a lot, but it didn't really change that much, to be honest. Also, I think that it came down to really tight rounds, and of course we had some luck in those rounds, but I never felt like we lost the rounds or we couldn't come back, we were always in pretty good positions I would say. So yeah, it was chaotic, and I think we also did mistakes as well, I think we could've won more rounds as T, at least.
So you continue your undefeated streak on Nuke with this roster. I want to talk about actually practicing that map, obviously it is one that a lot of teams don't play at all and you've been so good on it so I guess it feels like, perhaps, you shouldn't practice it that much. So what is your approach to practicing Nuke, adapting and getting new stuff on the map?
Yeah, we did this mistake once, not practicing the map we are good on. I don't think that is the way you should do it because suddenly you come in a situation where you play this map and you can't even remember your nades and do proper stuff because you forgot all of the things. We tend to keep every map in the rotation when we practice, and of course, sometimes we have more emphasis on other maps. I think for this Nuke game we also showed some new stuff and we've been practicing it here at the Major as well because we knew that we would maybe face Liquid later. It is just about maintaining a good map cycle and that is done not just by playing the maps you are bad on, it is also about keeping up with the good ones.
You mentioned that it was a mistake you did earlier, was that in the previous Astralis roster? Can you tell us when it was?
Yeah, it was our Overpass, I think we were just too strong on it, we also had a streak on it back then, and suddenly we couldn't do proper nades, we forgot all of them and stuff like that. It happens to every team, and I think we also gained a lot on other maps at that time, which was obviously great. And that was also in a period during which we were not performing really well.
You touched on preparing for the map because of Liquid, but also it could come up in the final, most likely will knowing that Na`Vi ban Cache all the time, their coach also tweeted that they are ready to stop your streak on Nuke. So do you think that with that obvious pick you have a very big advantage in the map pool going in against Na`Vi?
I think we have a strong map pool so of course, we are going to have a good map pool against them as well. And especially because they ban Cache which isn't the map we like the most. I say this (laughs), but maybe they will not ban Cache tomorrow. Let's see what happens, I won't say too much about the veto.
Mirage started with Magisk's ace in the pistol round, but what was interesting to see that you had a four-man stack on B, and they went B. Was that an obvious anti-strat, how were you so confident in having four on B in the pistol round?
Mirage and stacking in pistol rounds is what every team does, I feel like. So it is not unusual to see a stack like this, I feel. Yeah, it was based on what they did previously and what they would think of, but it is all mind games, it was the same when we were T. We stacked right and it paid off.
Yesterday dupreeh said that this was going to be the best match of the tournament, but he was obviously lying since it wasn't that interesting. But how come it was this dominant? Do you think that the comeback attempt you made on Inferno in the group stage was key to having good confidence going into this, not allowing Liquid to have the confidence to play against you?
I definitely think it took something from them that we came back, obviously. They must've been thinking "We let this slip away", "What about Inferno, can we play this against them" and stuff like that. But I just think that this semi-final showed that we are right now the best team at preparing for games, Liquid is a team that prepares a lot and I think that we just outprepared them today. It showed in our game, in our calling, how we rotated around the map and stuff like that.
Potential second Major win for you, are you ready to win it and establish the Astralis era?
Of course, we are ready. We will see what happens tomorrow and then, of course, if we win, I hope that this will prove that our legacy is worth something